Many investors have lost trust in companies’ annual reports, according to research from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

More than 60% of investors surveyed by the association said they now put more value in information from outside the company as management had too much discretion in the numbers they report in annual accounts.

Almost 70% of the 300 Irish and British investors surveyed said they had become more sceptical of company-provided information since the start of the financial crisis, while 45% described annual reports as being of no use.

Meanwhile 75% of those surveyed said quarterly reporting was useful to them, though 65% agreed that it created a short-term mindset in the market and distracted management.

A significant minority - 46% - said that quarterly reporting should be scrapped altogether.